How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant? - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on June 27, 2016

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant?

In general, a fertile couple has a good chance of getting pregnant within a year.

In general, a fertile couple has a good
chance of getting pregnant within a year.

It may seem like some couples get pregnant right away while others take much longer. So when you and your partner or spouse decide you’re ready to start a family, you may be wondering exactly how long it could take to get pregnant.

The odds that a woman will become pregnant in any particular month are 15 to 25 percent. In general, a fertile couple has a good chance of getting pregnant within a year. About 20 percent of couples will conceive naturally within one month, 70 percent will conceive naturally within six months, and 85 percent will conceive within one year.

For some couples, it can take up to two years to get pregnant. Although taking this long to conceive naturally may not feel normal to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have fertility issue. About half of couples who don’t get pregnant within one year conceive the following year.

There are some factors that impact your chances of conceiving.

Timing

First and foremost is how frequently you and your partner have sex. The less often you have sex, the less likely you are to get pregnant. Once a week may not be enough

Meanwhile, some couples focus their energy on the timing of sex. While it’s true that the window of opportunity for sperm to fertilize an egg is relatively small – about four to five days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation – timing sex exclusively to those days may not be the best approach. Even if the woman’s cycle is regular, the body doesn’t behave with clockwork regularity and ovulation can occur at any time during the menstrual cycle.

Rather than get caught up in the mathematical precision of ovulation, the best approach to getting pregnant is to have sex two to three times a week.

This is an especially good approach to conceiving if the woman has an irregular menstrual cycle. Irregular cycles make it tricky to calculate when you’re ovulating.

Age

Your age is also a big factor in how long it takes to get pregnant. If you’re 35 years old or younger and have been trying to get pregnant for a year and haven’t conceived yet, talk to your ob-gyn – your doctor may recommend infertility tests or make suggestions to improve your chances of conceiving naturally. However, if you’re over the age of 35, you shouldn’t wait as long to talk to your ob-gyn about your unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant.

In fact, you should consider seeing your doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. This routine checkup ensures your body is in tip-top shape to conceive and carry your baby. It also gives you the opportunity to ask your doctor questions, find out what you should and shouldn’t eat, and what vitamins you should take.

Overall Health

Additionally, smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages, and being considerably over- or underweight can impact your odds of getting pregnant.

If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year and have been unsuccessful, you may benefit from testing for both male and female infertility.

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